Day two of the new season and Surrey are well and truly behind the 8 ball at the Oval. Derbyshire battered their way to 451 thanks in part to a tasty last wicket partnership worth 51 off not many balls. Meaker eventually finished off the innings getting a tail ender out, surprisingly, by bowling full and straight. Well there's a surprise.
Harinath and Spriegel started deathly slowly, at one point they'd crawled to 11 off 11 overs, but they did at least keep their wickets intact. They both batted ok, Harinath looked composed for the most part and Spriegel while not fluent was grinding it out. From 44-0 Surrey blundered to 53-3, Spriegel got a very good ball but Harinath and particularly Afzaal got out to poor strokes. That brought skipper Hamilton-Brown to the crease who looked in decent nick, but Groenewald had him LBW after he'd scored just 9.
Ramprakash and Davies batted very nicely together and put on a century partnership before Kolpakker Peterson had Davies caught at slip, bringing in Gareth 'batting far too high at number seven' Batty. He survived, mercifully, to the close.
Surrey have a battle on here, Ramprakash basically has to save this innings single-handedly, and that won't surprise him or anyone else. Derbyshire bowled well, their seamers were very tight, Rogers (increasingly in my view one of the best captains in county cricket) rotated them well and they had a good tempo about them. Spin wasn't introduced until the 35th over and when he did come on Peterson was turning it nicely.
Surrey at 185-5 won't see this as the batting road that Chris Rogers made it look, but a draw is salvageable here. Again, not a great start to the season, chasing the game. It hasn't quite been a disaster, but a marked improvement is required.
Note: Everything else is frankly irrelevant today after news of Steve Finn's 9-37 against Worcestershire. Incredible effort from the young lad, 14-106 figures for the match. If he ever gets near that again he'll have done well. Here's hoping he carries that form through the season!
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